The Institute For Genomic Research (TIGR)

Rockville, Maryland

Founded by biologist and entrepreneur John Craig Venter, the J. Craig Venter Institute is a non-profit organization that studies human genomics. When the institute consolidated four operational research centers on one existing central campus, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), which LEO A DALY designed, became Building #5.

LEO A DALY provided full architectural, interior and structural design for TIGR. To create a cohesive campus, the four-story, 122,000-SF building harmonized with a modern interpretation of the Prairie-style architecture of the existing structures. Prominently sited adjacent to a central pond, TIGR became the centerpiece of the campus.

Each of its four floors contains 30,000-SF of space, housing 60-percent dry labs and 40-percent wet labs. The second and third floors of the building are organized into three longitudinal groups: general labs on the north side, specialty labs and relates support spaces in the center, and offices to the south side.

Reflecting the research activity within the labs, a curtain wall with tinted glass is patterned with hues that evoke the dyes first used to identify DNA’s amino acids. The building remains a striking, award-winning example of the firm’s design for research facilities.


Institute for Genomic Research

At a glance

122,000 SF


  • Design Award-Bronze, Commercial over 100,000 SF
  • International Interior Design Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Best Biotech Office Award of Excellence
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Maryland/DC Chapter
  • Brick in Architecture Award, Best-in-Class, Brick Industry Association (BIA)


  • Project Management
  • Architecture
  • Laboratory Planning
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Fire Protection Engineering
  • Interior Design